As part of the next instalment in my Guests’ Corner, a new travel interview segment on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, I chatted to fellow SA travel blogger, Samantha Snedorf.
Born in South Africa during the ’80s, Samantha Snedorf is a true Millennial. Throughout Sam’s life, books have been her constant companion and today, no doubt as a result, she is extremely passionate about writing, particularly lifestyle writing on her blog, Sam Sam But Different.
Aside from her writing talents (she’s a qualified journalist with magazine and digital writing experience), Sam is also performer and model, with a flair for the dramatic. She’s obsessed with second-hand stores and making pre-loved clothes new. It is her plight to love cats that never love her back. Sam says she doesn’t love gin… gin loves her. She’s a hybrid baby, mixed with Czech blood – and an enormous sense of wanderlust!
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
The first time I ever travelled abroad, I went to visit my family in Prague and I came back so full of awe and wonder; and I knew I had to try to capture the magic of travel somehow. I was bitten by the travel bug and I wanted to share my experiences with others.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or something of everything?
I would have to say a little bit of everything. I love to explore, taste, drink especially and learn about things I didn’t know before. I love history, nature and witnessing awe-inspiring things, whether it be natural or historical. Maybe I am not too much of an adrenaline junkie – but I do enjoy adventure and experiencing the world.
3) What was your most memorable travel experience in SA?
I think it would be my most recent trip to Cape Town. We drove through to Stellenbosch for a wedding and stayed at this gorgeous accommodation that was situated in the mountains. The weather was quite cold and dreary, and we couldn’t see much when we arrived – but when we awoke the next morning, the mountains surrounding us had been dusted with snow overnight. It was like waking up to a magical wonderland. Definitely an experience to remember!
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening local travel experience and why?
A few years ago, I was going through a rather tough time. I was at the South Coast in December and the owner of the backpacker’s asked me to wake up at about 5am and go to the beach with him. I barely made it at such an ungodly hour and, as we sat down on the beach and looked out over the ocean, I began to question what the hell I was doing. At that moment, a school of dolphins began to swim by… I watched them diving in and out of the water, as the sun slowly started rising. It was an incredible moment; experiencing the pure, raw beauty of nature helped me get through a tough time.
5) Worst local travel experience (and if you are comfortable enough to, please explain why)?
I was in Limpopo a year ago, Mookgopong to be exact (it used to be Naboomspruit), and there were a couple of instances where I was treated rather badly due to not being a local. Obviously, racial issues are very sensitive to talk about, particularly now – but my mom, who was staying there at the time, recounted moments where shop owners wouldn’t open the gate for her because of the colour of her skin.
Mookgopong is quite closed off from the rest of the world, it seems, and many of the town tenants behave in ways that are not acceptable today – but others are too afraid and timid to stand up for themselves. It’s shocking that people still live like that… and I can’t say I am in a hurry to return there.
6) Your top three travel destinations (or road trips) in SA are?
1. The South Coast. It is my yearly December destination. The beaches are gorgeous and it is ideal for a quiet end-of-year getaway.
2. Stellenbosch… I think it is probably the most beautiful part of our country. This tiny historical town, full of landmarks, nestled in between the mountains and dotted with wine farms. It is super romantic as well!
3. Nelspruit is perfect for a road trip. In summer, it is rather stifling – but driving through the Lowveld, and the citrus farms is soothing for me. There is something about the stillness and beauty of these farms that makes me feel at ease and just happy for some weird reason.
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs, either local or international, you can recommend for following?
I absolutely adore Emma Jane Nation because, not only is her writing real and relatable, but she is also a professional photographer, meaning that her travel photos are stunning. I love her Instagram too; it is really inspiring.
8) If you could travel anywhere in South Africa – or the world in general – right now, where would it be?
Right now, I am missing Prague a lot. It’s been a couple of years since I have been. There is just something about that city that never gets tired for me. I have been a number of times and, eventually after a year or two, I end up missing it all over again.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city, Joburg?
If you are planning a day trip in Joburg, I would recommend using Google Maps. It allows you to star or favourite any places that you might like to visit, which will help you gauge the distance between locations and plan how you would like your day to unfold. If you have a few days to travel, then you can group the different locations that you would like to visit and save different areas for different days.
Facebook is also an endless source of parties, festivals and events that are always taking place which is ideal when looking for something to do.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
I have done quite a lot of travelling on my own. The first thing I can say is: always just be aware of your surroundings, take care when traveling the world over, really.
Second would be to not underestimate the usefulness of wet wipes. I always keep them with me when I am travelling and they inevitably save the day.
Last is to consider using Google Trips. Google Trips allows you to easily organise your trip, keep all of your info in one place and find out what to do and what is near you.
To read about all of Samantha’s amazing travel stories and adventures, you can visit her blog. Or follow her Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much, Sam, for appearing in this guest travel segment. Until the next one… happy writing and reading, everyone!
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